Thursday, January 15, 2009
Childhood Memory Broken to Smithereens....A.K.A Conversation with my Mother.
Growing up, my grandparents taught me all about the birds and the trees. I said trees, get your head out of the gutter, you pervert. They loved nature. As we would drive down the road, or sit at the table and look out the window, they taught me the name of different trees we saw, the kinds of birds in our region as well as their habits. I don't remember much of it now, but one thing I do remember fondly is the Robins.
Each spring, it was a family tradition, a race, a competition if you will.
Who will see the FIRST ROBIN in the spring. Which one of us would have the joy, no, the HONOR of reporting to the others, "I saw a ROBIN today!" This sighting was truly the miracle of spring. Groundhog-Schmoundhog. It was all about the Robin.
This is one of those memories of childhood that is true and strong. It is something I know I remember, not a story that I have heard so often I think I remember. I recall being out playing, with friends, riding a bike, walking home from school... searching the trees and skies....looking...hoping...would I be the one to spot it.
Spotting the first Robin of the spring to return from it's southern winter vacation is something I hold dear to my heart as a childhood tradition.
I have taught my children how important this is and we search each spring for this fabled bird together. Carrying on the custom my grandfather and grandmother taught me. Linking the generations.
Conversation with my mother. This morning. In January. When there is snow on the ground.
Nancy: You know how we always looked for the First Robin of Spring?
Nancy: Well, I just found out Robins DON'T GO SOUTH! They go to the forest! And they are all eating the stuff in my bird feeder!
Nancy: Those DAMN Robins are not in the South, they are all in my backyard!
So, yeah, all the Robins have not flown south. The Robins are hanging out in South Jersey in an over 55 community. In a couple of trees. In my mom's backyard. Eating her birdseed.
Now I know how to win the contest this spring. Apparently, I just need to stalk her house.